Co-management Plan for the Ria Formosa Natural Park has already been approved

Last Friday

The first Co-management Plan for the Ria Formosa Natural Park (PNRF) was approved on Friday, March 1st, «by consensus», at a meeting of the Co-management Commission for this Algarve protected area, announced AMAL – Algarve Intermunicipal Community .

The document «was developed in collaboration with several entities and also had the involvement of the local population», assures the same entity.

«Valuing and promoting the territory», «raising awareness of local actors and visitors about the importance of the protected area» and «improving communication with all interlocutors and users of the Park» are the three strategic axes of this plan, which can be consulted in full here.

The Co-management Plan for the Ria Formosa Natural Park «will allow the development and consolidation of a participatory, collaborative and articulated management model, for the period 2024-2027, contributing to the conservation, protection of biodiversity, ecological restoration and enhancement of this protected area, promoting its natural and cultural values ​​and improving the efficiency of interactions between the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), the municipalities that make up the PNRF and the other entities that form the Co-management Commission».

«It is also intended to reinforce coordination and articulation between these entities, citizens, visitors and other public and private entities linked to the Park, through projects to promote and enhance natural and cultural heritage», adds AMAL.

To prepare the document, «the Co-management Committee of the Ria Formosa Natural Park counted on the collaboration of technicians from the entities represented on the Committee and that are part of the Support Structure, as well as other entities whose operations cover the PNRF area. The contents of the Plan were also enriched with the involvement of the local population, with five participatory sessions being held throughout 2023 and two questionnaires being prepared».

The approval of the Plan was preceded by a public consultation, which took place between the 12th of December and the 10th of January.

«The Ria Formosa is the largest wetland in southern Portugal and one of the country's areas richest in biodiversity. The Ria Formosa Natural Park is located in the Eastern Algarve, based on the important lagoon area there, covering an area of ​​around 18.000 ha, including the submerged area covering the municipalities of Faro, Loulé, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António», explains AMAL.

The Ria Formosa Natural Reserve was established in 1978, having been reclassified as a Natural Park in 1987. In 2021, the request for adherence to the co-management model for the PNRF was formalized by the presidents of the Municipal Chambers of Faro, Loulé, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, alongside the Board of Directors of the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests. These municipalities then delegated powers to the Algarve Intermunicipal Community to provide technical and operational support in the co-management of this protected area.

The PNRF Co-management Committee is made up of representatives from the following entities: Municipal Council of Faro (CMF), Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF), University of Algarve (UALG), Portuguese Confederation of Environmental Defense Associations (CPADA), Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), Tourism Region of Algarve (RTA) and Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission (CCDR Algarve).